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  1. #1

    Cool SimCity 2000 Loader for Windows XP

    Hi folks,

    I have been looking around on the Internet for an update to the Windows 95 version of SimCity 2000 so that it runs properly under Windows XP. As some of you probably know, the game doesn't work very well on newer versions of Windows: the graphics don't animate properly, the program has to be reinstalled entirely for different Windows user accounts that want to play it, and personal files can be overwritten when these reinstallations occur. It's just a hassle and not worth the trouble.

    Once I figured out that the animation problems could be fixed by enabling compatability mode for Windows 95 and forcing 256 colors, I started thinking about coming up with a VBScript that would automate this process along with some other things that would allow the game to function normally on Windows XP. The end result turned out quite well and, once this script is executed, the SimCity 2000 program functionality is updated in the following ways:

    • A personalized "SimCity 2000" save folder is created in the user's My Documents folder; the program now defaults to this folder as its save location (this is actually an option, and if it is disabled the user's My Documents folder becomes the default save path)

    • All SimCity 2000 registry keys are created and configured for the currently logged on user; this ensures that a reinstallation of the program is never required in order for it to be able to run (installation/configuration errors will never occur again when the game is launched, regardless of how many different users want to play)

    • At startup, the current user is prompted for his/her CDRom drive letter (in case you want/need access to the additonal features on the CD), his/her Mayor Name and his/her Company Name; this information is individualized for each user account (for example, Judy can be "Mayor Judy" when she is logged on with her Windows account and Tony can be "Mayor Tony" when he is logged on with his Windows account, the game now keeps track of these unique characteristics and doesn't overwrite anything)

    • This script copies itself into the Game installation folder and is used as a loader for the SIMCITY.EXE program (this is what ensures that individual user settings are always configured and stored properly)

    • A new program shortcut is created for the "SimCity 2000" program, pointing instead to "%programfiles%\Maxis\SimCity 2000\SimCity2000.vbs"; an updated Windows XP type shortcut is also created for the "SimCity Urban Renewal Kit" program (however, this VBScript is not used as a loader for WINSCURK.EXE)

    • Many portions of this script can be configured for your own specific needs and configuration type


    I have only tested this with the SimCity 2000 Special Edition package, but I imagine it will also work with other Windows 95 versions (if not in its default state, then probably with a little careful tweaking). However, it works fantastically with the SE version, and serves as the program update I had been hoping to find for quite some time now. I haven't tested this with Windows 2000, Vista or 7, but I imagine that it will at least work with Windows 2000, if not the other two as well.

    Here it is. Copy and paste into notepad, make any desired changes to the options near the top, and save as a .VBS file. Make sure SimCity 2000 is installed, double click the VBS file and you're all set. Also, since I'm not sure where all the SimCity websites are on the Net, would you guys mind distributing this for me to all the appropriate sites/channels/people/etc?

    NOTE: You'll have to go to a post I made in another forum since I am unable to fit all of the code into one post here (apparently the forums are limited to 10000 characters per post). You can find the VBScript code at this post in the Tilted Mill Entertainment SimCity Forums: http://www.tiltedmill.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25464

    EDIT - Updated the script a little bit. This morning I noticed a few things that I should have fixed before posting last night.
    Last edited by Ghidra; 11-24-2009 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Minor script updates (Added shortcuts for help files and a few additional tweaks)

  2. #2
    What settings are you using when you set it to run in compatibility mode under Windows XP. I have Windows XP professional with service pack 3, and it's not working properly for me when I use it.

    I use the program compatibility wizard, and the select simcity 2000 (I am using the special edition as well) I choose it from the list of programs, select windows 95, no matter which combination of the 3 settings I choose, 256 colors, 640x480 res, or disable visual themes- it doesn't work for me. Also, when I click next is it supposed to automatically start the program for me? It doesn't.

    The strange thing is, I selected the Chicago scenario and the animations in that will work properly, the traffic, the smoke, the trains, but not when I'm in my own custom made cities.

  3. #3
    For program compatibility, you should only need to enable 256 Color mode for it to play properly.

    The other thing you want to check is that you have Read and Write permissions to the SimCity 2000 folder. If you're running as an Administrator or Power User then you won't have to do this.

    I will probably have a newer and better script up here at some point in the future. I'm not sure if you tried the one that's up there already, but it might help.

    Let me know how it goes. It definitely runs on WinXP with SP3.

  4. #4
    For compatibility mode settings, you should only need to enable 256 Color mode.

    Another thing you want to check is that you have Write Permissions to the SimCity 2000 game folder. If your Windows computer account is an Administrator or Power User then you don't have to worry about this.

    I should have a newer and better script for SimCity 2000 at some point in the future. I'm not sure if you tried the one that's already there, but it may help.

    Let me know how it goes. The game definitely runs on Windows XP SP3.

  5. #5
    Just in case anyone else is having problems like me, thought I'd post this
    For compatibility mode settings, you should only need to enable 256 Color mode.

    Another thing you want to check is that you have Write Permissions to the SimCity 2000 game folder. If your Windows computer account is an Administrator or Power User then you don't have to worry about this.

    I should have a newer and better script for SimCity 2000 at some point in the future. I'm not sure if you tried the one that's already there, but it may help.

    Let me know how it goes. The game definitely runs on Windows XP SP3.
    I am running as the admin, so that shouldn't be a problem. I did what you said, same problem.
    Though, this time I did notice something different. I tried using rails instead of roads, after I placed the rail depots and the trains started moving, the animation for my oil power plant starting working properly. But, after I tore down the rail depots and rails and replaced them with roads, it went back to it's normal malfunctioning state. When you place an oil power plant, just by itself, does the smoke coming out of animate at the correct rate?

    I haven't used your script as I don't really need it. It looks like a good piece of work, but I'd be satisfied just for everything to work like it's supposed to. I only have really one account on this system so a lot of the things aren't an issue for me.

    Just make sure you're not at Cheetah speed, or whatever. That's only time I'm able to see the game behave differently than it should on my Windows XP system (it goes so ridiculously fast that the game is totally unplayable).

    Anyway, I'm all out of ideas. Good luck and let me know if you fix the problem; I'm a bit curious why you're having problems.

  6. #6
    For everyone's information... these tips are for Windows XP only, although they probably work in Windows 2000 as well (although, you might have to manually change the color settings to 256 colors).

    Thanks for adding my replies. I have some difficulty posting for some reason.

  7. #7
    ya u just change your change your graphics properties to 256color mode. Then you can play properly this game. Everyone should suggest you this.

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